Caligula’s Horse - In Contact album review

Prog-metal blizzard from Oz

Cover art for Caligula’s Horse - In Contact album

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Australian progressive metal band Caligula’s Horse enjoy a gallop. Dream The Dead thunders in at a rapid pace, demolishing all in its path. Yet when this concept album “in four chapters” remembers to breathe, the Brisbane bruisers reveal other strings to their bow. Melody, mid-tempo rhythms and even a rather lovely choral section sneak in, suggesting the band could appeal beyond their fan base if they were a little braver.

Their fourth album is unafraid to explore themes of art and creativity. In calmer moments there are subtleties which recall Opeth or Anathema, notably within the 15-minute eclectic epic that is Graves. More often, they’re raging around like a psychotic Emperor. Rein it in and new empires will rise.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.